Astros, Dodgers clinch as Padres, Phillies flinch

MLB Power Rankings

The Washington Nationals are getting cozy in the last-place spot of the MLB Power Rankings. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

This week’s MLB Power Rankings include a couple of playoff clinches and a few clubs flinching as they barely hold onto a postseason berth.

This is the home stretch. Teams are finding themselves clinching playoff spots as others are on the verge of a wild card spot flinch. This week’s MLB Power Rankings offer a late September look into trends around the league, what happened, and what we can expect in these final days of the regular season.

The MLB playoffs are nearing. Every win matters more than ever.

How, in these final weeks of the MLB season, do the 30 teams rank?

30) MLB Power Rankings: Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals are getting familiar with the last-place spot on this list. Once held for weeks by the Cincinnati Reds, there came a point in the 2022 season when the baton was handed off to the Nationals. They ran off with it even further post-trade deadline.

The Nationals are only a few losses away from reaching 100 on the season. After nearly a decade of at least playing competent baseball each year and having a chance, Washington has re-entered their early years before Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. Well, Strasburg is still on the payroll.

29) MLB Power Rankings: Oakland Athletics

MLB should make things interesting and force the Oakland Athletics to play the Nationals in a best of 5 series to determine who gets the first pick in next year’s draft. Would anyone even attend or care? If Oakland won, it would only be a matter of time before they traded the draft pick anyway.

One of baseball’s messiest organizations right now, the Athletics are crawling to the finish line. They’ve followed the script perfectly this year. At least they can cause a little heartbreak with upside victories against better teams in the division.

28) MLB Power Rankings: Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates are showing their true colors in these final weeks. Their run differential might just end up worse than whatever the Nationals have at the end of 162 games. Oneil Cruz finding his power swing early on as a rookie this year might be one of the only few bright spots for fans to carry with them into the offseason.

Pittsburgh is in an uncomfortably familiar position. The games matter more for padding statistics than anything else. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like the front office will do much to help the club in the winter.

27) MLB Power Rankings: Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers, on the other hand, might have a front office interesting in making a real effort to better the team. Sure, things went terribly wrong for them in 2022. But a young core is already in place and the front office did at least spend money during last winter.

The greatest need for the Tigers is clear: power. Barring some kind of miracle streak of home runs from Javier Baez or Jeimer Candelario in the final weeks, no one on the Tigers will reach 20 home runs. Eric Haase is literally the only hitter with a slugging percentage over .400. The only hope for this team’s bats would be to move the fences in another 50 feet.

26) MLB Power Rankings: Kansas City Royals

Let’s try to spin the Kansas City Royals in a positive way. Brady Singer looks good. Bobby Witt seems to have potential. Salvador Perez isn’t fully cooked. They aren’t the Tigers.

Barely ahead of the rival team in Detroit, the Royals are far from perfect and they know it. At least they have been able to score runs this year. Perhaps they’ll even come away as winners in the trade deadline moves they did make.

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